Questions To Ask Your Bankruptcy Attorney
Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is something you should do carefully and with guidance from an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. As such, it is essential to find a bankruptcy attorney who has experience handling cases similar to yours and with significant experience working on bankruptcy cases more broadly in Florida. While the U.S. Bankruptcy Code governs individual and commercial bankruptcy filings, there are also Florida laws that apply to bankruptcy cases. In particular, a debtor in a Florida bankruptcy must use Florida’s exemptions to determine which assets are exempt in bankruptcy cases. Both federal and state bankruptcy laws are complex, and it can be difficult to handle a bankruptcy case on your own.
Before you hire a bankruptcy lawyer to work with you on your bankruptcy, it is important to schedule a consultation to learn more about a bankruptcy attorney and whether that attorney is the right advocate for your case. As you prepare for your consultation, you should consider asking a prospective attorney some of the following questions.
What Experience Do You Have Working on Florida Bankruptcies?
What experience does the lawyer have handling bankruptcies in Florida? You should find out about how their practice focuses on bankruptcy and the length of time the attorney has been handling bankruptcy cases.
Do You Have Experience Handling Personal and Business Bankruptcies?
You should learn more about the firm’s experience handling cases similar to your own, whether that is a personal or commercial bankruptcy.
What Will a Working Relationship with Your Firm Be Like?
Find out what a working relationship with the lawyer and the firm will be like. How will you communicate with the lawyer, for example? Will you always speak directly with a lawyer, or will you work with a paralegal? These are important questions to ask.
What Chapter of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?
Different types of bankruptcy have different requirements, and different types of bankruptcy are also beneficial for distinct reasons. When you meet with a bankruptcy lawyer, you should find out more about your eligibility for different types of bankruptcy and which kind of bankruptcy is likely to be the best option for you based on your circumstances.
Should I Anticipate That My Debts Will Be Discharged?
When you speak with a bankruptcy lawyer, it will be important to gain a clear understanding of whether you have debts that are eligible for discharge. If your debts are not likely to be discharged in a bankruptcy case, you will want to learn about other options.
Are Any of My Assets Exempt Under Florida Law?
Florida bankruptcies require debtors to use Florida exemptions rather than federal exemptions. If you do not understand how exemptions work, you should first ask the lawyer you are meeting with to provide you with more information about exemptions and how they will affect your case. In a liquidation bankruptcy, exempt assets are not liquidated—the debtor gets to keep them. In a reorganization bankruptcy, exemptions determine what debts must be repaid and included as part of the debtor’s repayment plan.
An experienced bankruptcy lawyer should be able to learn more about the assets you own and provide you with a clear understanding of which assets will be exempt under Florida law, from equity in your home and accounts to various material possessions.
Contact a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney Today
If you are considering bankruptcy, you should be planning to seek advice from a bankruptcy attorney from the start of your case. You should contact one of the West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley, Fulton, Kaplan & Eller to learn more about the services our firm provides to individuals and businesses in South Florida.